FM Paet: International Missions in Georgia Must Continue
Following their meeting in Tbilisi, Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet and Georgian Foreign Minister Gregory Vashadze signed the Estonia-Georgia charter to further the two nations' political dialogue and intensify close relations in the fields of economics, defence, education, science and culture.
Paet emphasised that the political ties between Estonia and Georgia are already very tight, but Estonia would like to further develop relations in many areas. "We would like to conclude a social security agreement between the two countries very soon," said Paet. "We also hope to conclude a bilateral agreement for the protection of investments in the near future, in order to help create closer Estonia-Georgia business contacts," he added.
The foreign ministers discussed Estonia-Georgia co-operation within the framework of the European Union Neighbourhood Policy and the Eastern Partnership as well. "Eastern Partnership gives an important opportunity for Georgia and other Eastern Partnership target nations to grow closer to the European Union, and this opportunity should be used," Paet stressed. "We support Georgia's efforts in implementing domestic reforms and harmonising legislation," he added.
At the meeting, they also addressed relations with neighbouring nations and the security situation in the region.
Paet emphasised that Estonia considers the presence of international organisations and their missions in Georgia to be necessary. "A long-term political solution in post-conflict Georgia must be based upon Georgia's territorial integrity and sovereignty," said Paet. "The presence of international missions and the extension of the mandates for the European Union and UN monitoring missions support a feeling of security for people in Georgia and also carry the message that it is necessary to find a resolution to the conflict," said Paet, stressing that international observers require access to all of Georgia's territory. Paet noted that Estonia will also continue to support Georgia in its integration with NATO.
During the meeting, Georgian Foreign Minister Gregory Vashadze thanked Estonia for the help it was given Georgia, especially for development co-operation and humanitarian aid given in 2008 following the Russia-Georgia conflict.
Foreign Minister Urmas Paet issued an invitation for Gregory Vashadze to visit Estonia. The ministers expressed hope that the visit could take place within this year.
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